I have been having these thoughts for about year now. I have had an attraction to females since my earliest school days, but I've never had much luck with them. I have been raised by two moms and my father is not in my life. I feel that both of them have a strong resentment for me and I don't feel loved by them. In recent years (I'm a senior in high school) I have practiced feelings of misogyny, and I now find girls to be disgusting creatures that are useless in all regards. They think that they are better than everyone and the pretty ones are so self-centered. In the past year I have found myself many times daily fantasizing about killing pretty females. Usually the ones that I know that have wronged me in some way. For example, there's a really pretty girl I work with who always dismisses my romantic advances towards her and makes fun of me in her mind. She otherwise pretends to be nice to me. I find myself fantasizing about calmly killing her, such as by pinching her nose shut and clamping my hand over her mouth, and stroking her hair until she succumbs.
I hate the thoughts and they terrify me but I can't help but find it arousing and revitalizing to think about! I would never hurt anyone but I can't get the thoughts to go away. It's gotten to the point where when I see a girl in public that is pretty I immediately feel the anxiety of confronting her because they all hate me, and I fantasize about bludgeoning her to death or something just to temporarily cure the anxiety, and then whisper to her how much I love her and stroke her hair...it's really weird especially when it's a stranger in public. This only happens with pretty girls because those are the ones I'm nervous around. It's horrifying and I would never want to or plan to actually do it but it's like a monster lives inside that makes me suffer through the thoughts. I've spent a week in a mental hospital for this last year, and they diagnosed me with paranoid personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder, if that matters. What should I do?
My dear young friend,
The first thing I'd like to ask you to do is to congratulate yourself. You have had these terrible fantasies for about a year, yet, instead of carrying them out, you find them repelling, and are asking for help. This proves that you are a good person who has fallen into a bad habit.
You see, thoughts, imaginings, and emotions are habits, just as much as physical actions are. You can change this habit. It won't be easy, but it will be very worthwhile, and will almost certainly turn your life around. Second, about diagnostic labels. You show wisdom in saying, "if that matters." Such diagnoses are only summaries of things you do. Change what you do, and the diagnosis disappears. I don't know why they applied the narcissistic label, but I can see the paranoid bits in what you wrote. You can fix them. Here is the list of your beliefs I'd like you to examine:
1. About your two moms: "I feel that both of them have a strong resentment for me and I don't feel loved by them."
To an outside observer, this may or may not be true. It feels true to you. Suppose it is. You can't change them, but you CAN change how you behave toward them. That will change the relationship within the family, and as a result their attitude toward you. Construct some thoughts that work for you, such as "These two people have done their best, however it has felt for me." "My moms deserve respect and care, regardless of what they do or don't do." "How can I make their lives better?" "What goes around comes around. I'll do my best to treat them with kindness and care, and see how long it is before they notice."
2. About girls: "They think that they are better than everyone and the pretty ones are so self-centered."
There are some girls like that, and some guys, too. That is actually the meaning of narcissism. But it is NOT true of most girls, or of most guys. In fact, because we live in a damaging culture, most people think themselves to be faulty in many ways. Chances are, many of those girls you think are self-centered in fact spend much of their time worrying about their supposed shortcomings, and feel themselves judged by others all the time.
3. "There's a really pretty girl I work with that always dismisses my romantic advances towards her and makes fun of me in her mind"
Are you a mind reader? If not, you cannot tell what is in another person's mind. This is an example of paranoid thinking, and you do not need to do it. If you were to treat her as one of the boys you feel some friendship toward instead of as a pretty girl, she may well react differently to you.
I have a rule: I can ask anyone anything, as long as I can accept a no, and anyone can ask me anything, as long as I can say no. You have made romantic advances to this girl, and that's all right. She said no, and that's all right, too. End of story, if you choose to make it so. If she is rejecting you, it's not because she feels superior, or dislikes you, but because she dislikes something you are doing: that is, continuing to pursue her when she has shown you that she is not interested. That is her right, and says nothing bad about her -- or about you.
You wrote: "She otherwise pretends to be nice to me." No. She IS being nice to you. She is happy to have you as a friend, as long as you don't make her feel bad about having to tell you she doesn't want a relationship with you. I repeat: you do not know what goes on in another person's mind. If she is being nice to you, that's the best evidence you have about her feelings. Treat her as a friend, exactly as if she was a boy not a pretty girl.
4. "they all hate me"
This is a paranoid thought. It is only noise, unless you buy into it. The thought comes, but not from the girls. It is something you are putting onto them. It is GUARANTEED to be false. For most of those girls, you are just a passing stranger, one of the 7 billion people on this planet. Unless you do something to make them scared or angry, they will have NO negative feelings about you at all.
So how should you deal with these intrusive thoughts and imaginings? You wrote: "it's like a monster lives inside that makes me suffer through the thoughts." Latch onto this thought. It is very useful. There is a monster that has invaded you, and is trying to wreck your life by turning you into a murderer. So, all you need to do is to distinguish monster thoughts from your own thoughts. As a first guess, anything negative or bad about another person is likely to be a monster thought, not a real one from you.
So, the solution is to form a new habit. Whenever you notice yourself getting angry, or resentful, or sad, find the thought that led to it, and ask yourself if it is a monster thought. If it is, you can feel powerful, and morally good, and laugh at the monster. It failed to trick you. Monsters hate being laughed at. They hate being ignored. This monster feeds on your negative emotions. When it is no longer able to make you feel them, it will starve to death.
And as soon as you regularly stop feeding the monster, you will find that other people will react to you very differently: with liking and friendship. Some of these will be pretty girls. You see, until now, you have been sending out nonverbal messages that they pick up and react against. When you send out positive nonverbal messages by working on conquering your monster, they will react to your new pattern.
Please contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org
Your new grandfather,
This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 30+ years of experience as a psychotherapist. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counselor.For more information visit: http://anxietyanddepression-help.com